Imagine brain is not getting the rest

Imaginethis: hearing the blaring alarm buzzing off at six o’clock to get you up andready for high school. You groggily wake up from your too-short slumber cursingyourself for staying up till one-in-the-morning. This sound familiar toanybody?      Most of you are probably nodding yourheads in agreement because this lack of sleep was bothersome to comply with forfour years. This is a common occurrence for many high school studentsnationwide, which is why schools should start later. The lack of sleepteenagers receives affects learning and health, while also being caused by abiological clock that cannot be reset.

      Every student come to school to learn,but what would be the point of coming to school if you’re learning will be hinderedby the lack of sleep you’re getting?        According to studies, there has been anassociation with a decreased ability to solve complex problems and less sleep.(Fallone) Along with not being able to solve problems, students will havetroubles retaining information they learn. (Education Week) This happensbecause the brain is not getting the rest it needs so it focuses all its energyon staying awake and performing needed bodily functions rather than rememberingwhen and why the Western Expansion took place.       Starting school later would lead to animprovement of testing scores. In a research at Central Connecticut StateUniversity, 30,000 high school students’ graduation and attendance rates acrossseven states were recorded one year before the changing the start time ofschool and two years after. The graduation improved noticeably to 88 percentfrom the previous 79 percent. As the attendance rate also jumped from 90percent to 94 percent.

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(Education Week)     Ever wonder why a cold just wouldn’t goaway? Well, your weakened immune system caused by a lack of sleep may be toblame. A weakened immune system could account for lower attendance because theyare too sick for school. (Fallone) In conjunction with your body’s defensesystem being weakened, your body will also take longer to heal, if injured. (Fallone)       “It was rather surprising to findsuch an impact of short sleep duration on these injury-related behaviors andsuggests that sleep deprivation may play a key role in poor judgment anddecision-making among adolescents,” said Janet Croft, chief of theepidemiology and surveillance branch of the National Center for Chronic DiseasePrevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention and one of the co-authors of the study. (Wallace)     Imagine being an athlete and having tostay out of the game longer because you’re not getting enough sleep and schoolis to blame; this could lead to depression in teens. Depression and adiminished mood is a common result of less sleep caused by school. (Fallone)School districts must choose between later school times and higher rates of illand depressed students.      Sleep deprivation as studied has shown tolead to an increase of risky behaviors in teens.

In extreme cases, teenagersmay experience hallucinations, and short moments of sleep during wakefulnesscalled micro-sleep. (Gofen) Most teenagers drive sleep deprived and may evenundergo micro-sleep on their way to school and/or home which only increases thechance of accidents.     Sleep is not a big deal to most adultsnow, because they were once teenagers who had little sleep due to school, sothey’ve grown accustomed to it and expect their children to be too. “Oursociety does not respect sleep, and we have grown-ups that brag about how, ‘Wecan get on with five hours of sleep,’ ‘We can drink that Red Bull and soldieron,’ ‘Sleep is for wimps,’ ‘I’ll get enough sleep when I’m dead,'” saidMaribel Ibrahim, co-founder of Start School Later, a nonprofit focused onincreasing public awareness about the relationship between sleep and schoolhours. (Wallace)     Laziness is often a common excuse mostadults use for teenagers not being an early bird when in fact a sleep hormone,melatonin, is the cause. Due to the onset of puberty, and a time shift in therelease in melatonin, teens and preteens find it impossible to fall asleepuntil about 11 p.m.

Yet, students are still expected to get a recommended 9.5hours on average of sleep. (Current Events) This is impossible because if they mustawake at 6 a.m., then that’s only 7 hours pf sleep.    “On top of this,” Judith Owens, a sleepresearcher at Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, says, “there isalso a delay in when a dip in alertness occurs during the early morning hours.In adults, this low point hits between 3 a.

m. and 5 a.m.; in adolescents,between about 5 a.

m. and 7 a.m.” (Sohn) Therefore, teenagers struggle to wakeup in the morning despite how hard they try.      Most parents and school districts opposethe idea of starting school later because it would cause a variety of problemssuch as an interference of bus and sports’ schedules, and cost. High school busschedules would interfere with elementary and middle school bus schedules whichwould require more buses and more money that the school district doesn’t have.

(Current Events) If one school in a district decides to change their early bellschedule to a later one that may cause conflict when it comes to sports games.It may become difficult to schedule games with school of an earlier bellschedule. Not only that, they say that it would be difficult for outside sportsto practice with an hour less of sunlight to practice in.    All in all, if schools started later, thebrains of teenagers would be thanking them. “For kids,” Mary Carskadon,director of sleep research at the E.

P. Bradley Hospital at Brown Medical Schooladds, “sleep is brain food.” (Sohn) Delaying the start times ofmiddle and elementary schools would combat conflicting bus schedules and savemoney. Schools could let student athletes out early to go to games, as they donow, to fight different school schedules. As far as sports games betweenschools they can make the most of the shortened practice time or end practice ahalf hour to an hour after sunset. Therefore, let’s all hit the snooze buttonon this argument because it’s clear that schools should start later.


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